I was a little nervous ahead of Sunday’s workshop. Even though I’ve lots of teaching experience, and since the spring I’ve been making cross-cultural presentations to senior executives at least once a month, I wasn’t quite sure how the material I’d prepared would go down with the seven men and two women who’d given up half their weekend (not to mention a chunk of cash) to listen and learn. Would the 16 pages of advice about how to devise ideas for articles and approach editors be far too little to fill the time? Or would it be so much I’d find myself rushing through it, leaving everyone overwhelmed while wearing myself out?
As it turned out, it was just about right. In large part, this was because those attending posed several interesting questions, made a lot of useful suggestions, and shared some amusing anecdotes. (I was hoping for all of these things).
It was a good mix of people. The youngest person was less than half the age of the oldest; we had a technical writer, a writer of marketing materials, two translators (one of whom has done quite a bit of freelancing in the past, but admits to being “very rusty”), and people who do other interesting jobs. At least two attendees were obviously far more Web-savvy than me, and made sound points when we talked about writing for online-only publications. Nobody rolled their eyes when I said “persistence” for the tenth or eleventh time; a slow-burning determination to succeed is absolutely crucial if you want to succeed as a writer. So is reliability. Hopefully, those who attended the workshop now have a better idea how to proceed; I’ll be following their progress with great interest.